If you’ve ever wondered how difficult it is to set up a Canadian commercial airline business that will include air-taxi operations for people and/or packages, we’ve got you covered. We put together 8 tips on how to get your Canadian air operators certificate/license for air-taxi operations. Let’s start with a few basics.
- Who sets the standards for air-taxi operations? The Commercial and Business Aviation Division of Transport Canada develops and oversees regulations and standards for private passenger transport as well as commercial air operations. They are responsible for seeing that the national tools and staff necessary to run the programs are in place. Commercial and Business Aviation staff answer questions and provide practical advice that helps businesses meet regulatory requirements. The Division also identifies training necessary to comply with standards for air operator certificates.
- What kind of trips do air taxi operator’s make? Air taxis make unscheduled flights. They carry miners and other types of workers to remote destinations in Canada’s great expanse. They often carry aborigines to Northern First Nation communities. Air taxis also take tourists to fishing areas or other out-of-the-way destinations.
- What are the general requirements for an air license in Canada? Once you’ve decided to go ahead with the air taxi business, you will complete the Statement of Intent (Form 26-0380) and file it with the appropriate Regional Manager, Commercial and Business Aviation. You must incorporate or register your company, partnership or corporation under Canadian or Provincial law and you must note the date of incorporation and the corporate number if applicable. You must operate your principal place of business in Canada. You must select Canadian citizens for the executive or head of the business (or a permanent resident under Canadian immigration laws). In addition, Canadians must control the company with at least 75% of voting interests owned and controlled by Canadians. You also need to comply with insurance minimums.
- Do special rules apply for air taxi operators? Yes. Transport Canada refers to air taxi operators as “703 Carriers” after the Canadian Aviation Regulations section that applies to them. 703 Carriers means single engine or multi-engine craft with a maximum 19,000 pounds or less take-off weight limit and that carry 9 or fewer passengers. A multi-engine helicopter certified for one pilot under visual flight rules will also qualify as an air taxi craft.
- Are many air taxi operators licensed under Transport Canada rules? As of 2011, there were 538 air taxi operators licensed as 703 Carriers.
- How do most air taxi pilots get started? Canada’s aviation industry consists of a series of stepping-stones for pilots. That means that pilots start with smaller planes before they move to large jet transport. Pilots who want to fly air taxis start with ground positions first, like fueling and loading. When an opening happens, they can then move up.
- Do I have to sort through all this regulatory stuff myself or is help available? Your Regional Transport Canada Office can help you by reviewing the requirements for air operator certificates. They can also help you decide if your equipment, facilities, and personnel meet updated requirements.
- What else can I expect in the way of requirements to my application? You can expect to file resumes of the chief pilot, operations manager, flight attendant manager, and chief maintenance person. You will have to provide operation and training manuals, maintenance control manuals, and any flight attendant manuals and training programs. You also have to provide detailed information on any aircraft over 12,500 pounds, pressurized or turbine powered. Transport Canada must approve your training program and check your crew’s sufficiency. Regional managers will also inspect your base and aircraft and you may need an in-flight inspection.
To learn more about the air operator’s application itself, see official Form 26-0592, and see the Statement of Intent mentioned above. You can also read the guidance material for regulations and standards under Part 703 – Air Taxi Operations.
To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. We can connect you to passengers who want to use air taxi services worldwide.